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Big Pirates game is right for us says Middleton

18 November 2011

  • Bristol Rugby head coach Liam Middleton reflects
  • All we can control is how we can perform – Middleton
Liam Middleton

Photo: RFU Archive

Ahead of the RFU Championship Match of the Month, Bristol Rugby head coach Liam Middleton reflects on his team's recent losing streak and explains why a big test against the Cornish Pirates could be just what his team needs.

"When you're on the back of a few losses, you often seek an easier game to get you back in it, but for a team like Bristol and this group of players, a bigger game is actually the right one for us.

"You can't control results, but you can control your performances. If we'd have played outstandingly in our first ten games and won two well, we can't help what the other teams do; how good they are, how much recruitment they do, how big their playing budgets are.

"All we can control is how we can perform, and we can fix that. Our performances will come right, and hopefully at the right time but i also know that it's a long process. Getting a team to excel over a long period takes time."

Bristol welcome league leaders Cornish Pirates to the Memorial Stadium on Sunday for a classic West Country derby which, prior to the home team's recent run of defeats, would have been coined as a likely league decider. But as Middleton explains, Pirates will go into the fixtures as comfortable favourites at the peak of their game.

"Pirates are at the end of a 3-year cycle; same coaches, same players. They are just polishing their game, whereas we are putting our game and our foundations together and the fact that we've won 7 matches whilst we've been putting that game plan in place is for me, a good thing. For me, it shows that when we do start to polish our game, it will be good."